I mentioned on Facebook on Friday that I needed to try out a recipe this weekend. Nia has requested lemon cake for her birthday next month and lemon cake is not in my repertoire.
That is, till now.
This cake, adapted from Molly Wizenburg's always-a-sure-bet A Homemade Life, was moist and delicious, not to mention gorgeous, but also humble. Not over the top sweet, or over the top fussy. Perfect for a Sunday afternoon -- or a low-key birthday weekend with family in Tahoe.
The kind of cake that you can whip up when you need to make an ordinary day just a little bit sweeter.
French-Style Yogurt Cake with Lemon, adapted from Molly Wizenburg; serves 8
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
2 tsp grated lemon zest
1/2 cup well-stirred plain whole-milk yogurt (not low fat or nonfat)
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 cup liquified coconut oil
For the Syrup: 1/4 c. powdered sugar, sifted; 1/4 cup lemon juice
For the Icing: 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted; 3 TBSP lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Grease a 9-inch round cake pan with butter. Line the bottom of the pan with a round of parchment paper, and grease it too.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the lemon zest. Whisk.
In a large bowl, combine the yogurt, sugar, and eggs, stirring to mix well. Add the flour mixture and stir to just combine. Add the oil and stir well. At first, it will look like a horrible, oily mess, but keep going and it will come together into a smooth, pale yellow batter. Pour into the prepared pan.
Bake for 25-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Be careful not to overbake.
Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack for 15 min. Run a thin knife around the edge of the pan, and invert the cake onto a wide, flat plate or pan. Remove and discard the parchment paper. invert the cake back onto the rack so that it sits upright. Set the rack over a rimmed baking sheet.
In a small bowl, prepare the syrup. Whisk together the powdered sugar and lemon juice. Spoon the syrup slowly atop the warm cake. Some of it will drip down the sides onto the baking sheet. No worries. Cool completely.
In a small bowl, combine the icing ingredients. Whisk well to dissolve the sugar completely. Spoon the icing over the cooled cake. (You may find you don't use all the icing.)
Serve immediately -- the icing will be soft and a bit juicy. Or wait till the icing has firmed up, about an hour. Which every way you like.